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FOR hundreds of years, magnets have been used as a means of aiding healing and improving blood flow in humans. Based on this reasoning, Barnsby has launched its FTS Magnetic Crownpiece. We find out how it is supposed to benefit your horse

What is it?

A lightweight headpiece with a series of magnets incorporated into the leather. It attaches to your bridle or headcollar via Velcro loops. According to the manufacturer, the crownpiece can benefit in the case of behavioural problems because of the therapeutic effects of the magnets.

How does it work?

THE FTS Magnetic Crownpiece uses “VITAflex magnets”, which are said to be up to five times stronger than the normal variety. They are positioned to affect the axis vertebrae at the top of the spine, which is meant to have a positive effect on the horse, making him more relaxed and softer, as well as helping to calm difficult or nervous horses during exercise and travel. The crownpiece has also been used to help stiff or older horses, by helping them to remain supple and encourage them to stretch more.

Who uses it?

EVENT rider Niall Griffin has found the crownpiece effective on a range of different horses.

“It’s helped settle young and nervy horses, especially ones who have just been broken, and we also use it on the older advanced horses, who work happily in it,” he says.

Irish Nations Cup show jumper and trainer Harry Marshall competes and schools his horses in the crownpiece.

“This crownpiece just seems to work — not the same way for each horse, but it certainly tends to settle them down, and the stressful horses are less stressed. I’ve had good results with it,” explains Harry.

Fellow show jumpers Edward Doyle, Dermott Lennon and Christina Leibherr have also been spotted using the crownpiece.

Where do I get one?

IF you want to give magnetic therapy a try, the Barnsby FTS Magnetic crownpiece will set you back around £73. Contact Tel: 01922 621676 www.barnsby.com

This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (22 February, ’07)